There's still time to take part in a Deakin University/National Centre for Farmer Health project aimed at mapping the types of agrichemicals being used in Victoria.
Information for the project is being gathered in a survey into agricultural chemical use, which would close in about a month's time.
NCFH Rural Health lecturer Dr Jacquie Cotton said there were more than 8000 pesticides registered for use in Australia, with 75 per cent of those set aside for agriculture.
Although there was a "barrage" of best practice, advice, training and certification around their use, the full impact of chemicals on the health and wellbeing of users remained largely unknown, she said.
"We want to know more about what types of chemicals are being used in different regions of Victoria, so we can target our communication with farmers," Dr Cotton said.
"The variety of chemicals available to, and used by, farmers needs to be more thoroughly understood."
Project lead Associate Professor Robert Faggian said research results would be geographically mapped and be shared with agricultural industry organisations to further support and inform their health and safety information, resources and initiatives for the farming community.
The Agricultural Chemical Use Mapping project, funded by WorkSafe, covered general agrichemical use and hygiene, PPE (personal protection equipment) practices and descriptions of any illness experienced during the use of agrichemicals.
"It's postcode based and there is an interview component to the work, but people have to consent to that," she said.
"The interview component will help us understand a bit more about chemical use in general and any incidents or stories people want to share."
Dr Cotton said the mapping software would determine in which parts of Victoria some of the most dangerous chemicals were used.
"Farmers want to know about their chemical exposure, but sometimes what's not known is the impact on the human body," she said.
"We know plenty about the short term effects of chemical exposure, but we don't know a lot about long-term impacts."
By mapping chemical use in different areas of Victoria, the centre could better target long term research, she said.
Participation for farmers was through a simple - and anonymous - 15-minute online survey.
"All you need to do is tell us your most frequently used agrichemicalsm" Dr Cotton said.
'Your contribution and participation in this project will help inform a proactive approach to keeping farmers healthy, informed and safe."
For more information or to access the survey visit:
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